Le Mans – John McPhee (Honda) won the Moto3 race of the Grand Prix de France on Sunday at the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans, ahead of Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Honda) and Aron Canet (KTM), which increases his lead at the world championship.
This is the 5th most different winner in as many races since the beginning of the season in this category. The Scottish, 24, had already won a race in Moto3 in 2016.
"I am ecstatic", said McPhee after the finish, recalling his tough debut in the league, which he now ranks ninth, with 34 points.
As usual in Moto3, which is the entry category in the MotoGP with 250cc machines, the race was marked by many falls on a dry track despite a very overcast weather.
McPhee, who was in pole position, had to let out Japanese Tatsuki Suzuki (Honda) and Italy's Tony Arbolino (Honda) and Argentina's Gabriel Rodrigo (Honda).
The Japanese Ai Ogura (Honda) who started in 3rd position fell spectacularly in the second lap, his bike bouncing off the track and miraculously avoided by the other competitors.
A squad of seven riders then detached, passing and ironing while playing the aspiration. At this little game, it was Tatsuki Suzuki who managed to keep his head for several laps. The young Japanese driver (21 years old) rode for the first time on the Moto3 podium at the previous GP in Spain. But he hung on the 15th lap with Tony Arbolino, forcing both drivers to retire.
The Italian Niccolo Antonelli (Honda), winner in Spain and 2nd in the world championship before the Le Mans race, dropped to 14th lap.
That made the business of John McPhee who went back to the lead ahead of the Italians Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Andrea Migno. The Japanese Kaito Toba also joined the fight in the lead with the Spaniard Aron Canet (KTM) for a duel to four to the finish line, which saw McPhee just triumph over Dalla Porta.
Ranking of the Grand Prix de France, Moto3 category:
1. John McPhee (GBR / Honda) 22 laps in 37 minutes 48 seconds 689 / 1000th
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA / Honda) at 0.106
3. Aron Canet (ESP / KTM) at 0.757
4. Gabriel Rodrido (ARG / Honda) at 0.978
5. Andrea Migno (ITA / Honda) at 1.201
Ranking of the Moto3 World Championship after five events:
1. Aron Canet (ESP / KTM) 74 points
2. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA / Honda) 60
3. Niccolo Antonelli (ITA / Honda) 57
4. Kaito Toba (JPN / Honda) 51
5. Jaume Masia (ESP / KTM) 49